LONDON - Britain has bolstered security at its airports in what leaders said that was the correct response following US alarm that extremist groups could have developed new explosives for attacks.
Authorities did not give details of what the new security measures entailed. Britain's terror threat level remained unchanged at "substantial" -- the third highest grade. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin appeared on television to reassure passengers at the start of the European summer holiday season. "It's very important that we work -- as we do -- with our American partners and indeed with other countries around the world so that where credible new threats are identified, a response is then implemented in airports around the world," Clegg told ITV television.
McLoughlin told Sky News that "I hope there will not be significant delays" from the reinforced security. An aviation security expert, Philip Baum, told Sky that passengers would likely see increased random searches and be asked to remove their shoes for checks. The steps came after the United States on Wednesday said that the security had to be increased at some airports in Europe and the Middle East which provide direct flights to the US. There were concerns in America that extremist groups had developed new explosives that could get through current airport security procedures undetected.
The announcement came before US Independence Day celebrations on Friday, July 4, but US officials would not say whether authorities had uncovered a specific plot.